Establishment of the Monaco Lycée. Did you know?
To ensure that his plans were properly prepared, the Prince, who was keen to bring together the best elements of European education systems, particularly the French and German systems, asked his personal advisor, Gaston Moch, to conduct a comparative study looking at how secondary education was organised in various countries, and how secondary schools were established. Visits were paid to France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland. Gaston Moch came up with a kind of compromise, striking a balance between German progress on infrastructure and French superiority in terms of educational content.
The emphasis placed on education should be associated with the Prince’s pacifist stances. In his view, the ignorance of the masses was a lever that was being used to incite peoples against each other: “Instead of blinding young people by instilling in them a ridiculous pride, we must show them the progress and greatness of other peoples, whether they are friends or enemies...” (BnF, Albert I to Joseph Reinach, 25 November 1898). Lycée Albert I is one example among several at that time of Prince Albert I’s determination to see a rapprochement between France and Germany.
On 4 October 1910, the Lycée was officially opened. The ceremony was held at 10 am, under the direction of the Governor General, Admiral Hautefeuille. Mr Dessaux, former headmaster of the Tournon Lycée, was the school’s first director, appointed by Prince Albert I.
(Journal de Monaco, 4 October 1910).
The school year then got underway in the brand new Monaco Lycée. The school adopted the name Lycée Albert I in 1960, a tribute to its founder on its fiftieth anniversary. Since then, the school has enjoyed a rich history, written by generations of pupils and teachers who have contributed to its reputation